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The Online Trainer’s Checklist

The online trainer has to take into account many considerations. Proper preparation is vital to keeping your training running smoothly and your audience engaged.  Use this checklist to ensure that you are prepared for your next virtual classroom training event.

Materials Checklist -  well before the class start date.

Participants have been sent:

___  pre-work instructions

___  installation instructions for virtual classroom software

___  logistics such as links, passwords, and conference call information

___  contact information for questions

You and your co-trainers have the following materials ready:

___  slides and other files

___  instructor notes

___  activities and exercises

___  contingency plans

Technology Checklist – on day of class

___  computers and equipment have been checked and tested

___  computers have been re-booted

___  applications and necessary files are open, available, and ready

___ audio technologies such as telephones and microphones have been tested

___ all non-essential applications are closed

___  virtual classroom has been joined at least 30 minutes early

___  “sidekick” computers are logged into virtual classroom as participants

Trainer Checklist – on day of class

___ delivery area is ready (free of distractions, glass of water available, etc)

___ training materials are readily available

___  technology tools such as whiteboard and chat windows are enabled

___ phone number and contact information for IT support is available

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Create a time-saving and profit-making Distance Learning Program

The Atrixware team recently assisted Staci Cockrell, CEO of the American Broadcasting School. Her company, founded in 1970, is a family-owned, nationally accredited, private vocational school that teaches radio broadcasting.  The US Department of Education approved their training program which includes every skill a professional broadcaster needs such as:

customer logo 01-american broadcasting company • On-Air Shows
• News
(writing and on-the-air delivery)
• Sports
(writing and on-the-air presentation including
play-by-play if desired)
• Digital Production
(writing and producing commercials with voice track,
sound effects, music, etc.)
• And Advertising Sales

The American Broadcasting School has four land-based campuses in Oklahoma and Texas but they also wanted to implement a distance learning program.  So, in February 2007, Staci searched for an online testing program that would allow her students to take their exams online and get instant results. She researched on the internet and found that Atrixware offered the testing program that best fit her company needs and at a price that was within budget.

Staci happily discovered, “My distance learning students can log on, take the exam(s) at their convenience, print out a certificate if they pass, and automatically receive an email show them all of their test questions.  They get an instant score and report that shows the correct answers for all of the questions, and page numbers where the correct answer can be found in their reference material. The course instructors also get an email of the student’s grade and list of questions they got right and wrong so that they are aware that the student completed the exam and they are able to assist them when needed.”

“Atrixware has proven to be a great investment and time-saving tool for my company. The technical assistance I have received has also been a wonderful asset”, added Staci.

For an online solution, the Atrixware WEBLEARNING system is an ideal time saving tool for instructors because it simply eliminates manual grading of exams. It also offers students the ability and convenience to take tests anywhere, anytime, on any computer (with an internet connection).  Also, every Weblearning system comes with technical assistance (by email or optionally by  phone) which gives peace-of-mind to the “non-technical” instructor or trainer.

Here are some other great benefits of the Weblearning System:

* It’s Easy – you can be up and running in about an hour-nothing to download
* It’s Affordable – choose monthly or annual hosted payment plans.
* It’s Flexible – hosted on our server or yours- intranet or internet.
* It’s Powerful – you can include images, sounds, documents, presentations and videos.

Create & Deploy E-Learning Content for Profit Rapidly, Securely & Affordably!

To get a free consultation to discuss your online E-Learning needs, contact Atrixware by calling toll free 866-696-8709 or visit our website at www.atrixware.com/weblearning  where you can request a FREE 7-day trial WEBLEARNING account.

For more information on the American Broadcasting School, visit www.radioschoolonline.com.

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Knowledge Expert uses Elearning Software to Multiply His Time, Talent and Income

There’s only so many hours in a day.

So how can someone who is a teacher, trainer or consultant make more money at what they do?
A bigger classroom? — Maybe. Gain more knowledge to become more “in demand”? — Probably.
What about technology?

Is there a way to use technology to leverage your income potential?

Frank Morris, President of Tri-State Consultants, has been in the Construction and Building Code industry for 33 years. He talked to us recently, and revealed this information that may be helpful and profitable to you …

“In my waking hours, I make money giving live seminars. Now, I even make money while I sleep – selling my seminar testing and training content online or on CD’s (using Atrixware’s Test Pro Developer and Weblearning software)”.

How much money? Frank conservatively estimates his overall income has already increased 25%. In addition, he explained he has only “…scratched the surface. We’re even selling CD’s at the live seminars. The attendees get the info live, then they can study it again and retake the tests when they get home.”

Want more secrets?

(1) Get technology that’s FLEXIBLE.

Before discovering Atrixware, Frank used another “testing” software program that lacked the flexibility to randomly generate questions and answers. He noticed his clients were just memorizing the answers (question 12 is C) without knowing why or thinking about the question. He looked for a solution that would require clients to think and know the material they were learning. Test Pro Developer Enterprise Edition gave him this ability while publishing to CD rom or as a download link on his website.

He also had an Internet solution for those government clients or other companies who don’t allow software “downloads” but only allow access to online web-based content.” Weblearning allows for creation and delivery of online content, tests, and file exhibits including: images, sounds, office documents, flash videos, presentations, and more. In addition, hyperlinks can be included in questions that point to files or documents that reside anywhere on the Internet or Intranet.

(2) Get technology that’s EASY to use and offers TECH SUPPORT

Weblearning is ideal for “non-technical” instructors or trainers. It allows you to go from purchase to publish in about an hour. Multiplying his time and talent has become easy for this veteran knowledge expert in the consulting business. He can now create eLearning courseware, certifications, licensing tests, presentations, and surveys. It is a foundation building block product for developing an eLearning platform for content sold for profit or resale as a business.  He researched several other software competitors but said, “Their websites were mostly fluff where as Atrixware was in plain layman’s language, understandable, and best of all, if I have a question, I can talk to a real live person”.

(3) Get technology that’s AFFORDABLE

Weblearning is available on a monthly or annual subscription basis hosted on Atrixware’s servers, or it can be hosted your own internal servers which eliminate the monthly or annual fees all together. Start creating & using eLearning to increase productivity, automate test preparation & reporting while improving your client’s success rate. Frank Morris did.

Start multiplying your time, talent and income now!
Contact Atrixware toll free 866-696-8709 or visit www.atrixware.com.
Or email me directly at frank@atrixware.com.

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10 Tips on Selecting a Learning Management System (LMS)

Are you considering purchasing an LMS for your company? Below are some tips or a “checklist” of things you may want to consider. Please provide feedback whether this was helpful, or provide suggestions to add to the list to frank@atrixware.com.

Tip #1. Do your “Due Diligence”
More features usually means more complexity – What level of complexity can you handle?
___ Did you identify your core current needs or requirements for your LMS?
___ Did you identify your future needs? (see scalability below)
___ Which LMS Features are “need to have” versus “nice to have”?

Tip #2. My Server or Yours
___ Decide on a hosted solution LMS (by the vendor) or…
___ Decide on an LMS that you host (on your company’s servers)
Does the vendor offer both solutions? If so, Which solution is better for you?
If the vendor hosts, you probably don’t need an IT manager or department involvement.
If you host, did you identify LMS techincal requirements and get IT involved?

Tip #3. Try it before you buy it
___ Does the Vendor offer a FREE LMS Demo or LMS Presentation?
___ Is it “Live” so you can ask questions during the demo, or is it “pre-recorded” so you can watch it anytime?
___ Does the vendor offer a working “sandbox” implementation so you can “pilot” or evaluate the LMS using your data and conditions?

Tip #4. Batteries not included (Know the LMS limitations)
___ Are all the features you need included “out of the box”?
___ Are there any features you need that are available but at an additional cost?
___ Are there any features you need that are not available at all? (the “deal” breakers)

Tip #5. Get a user-friendly LMS
___ Does the LMS interface have easy navigation and ease of Administration?
___ Is the LMS end-user centered for your student, employee and/or customer?
___ Is it an intuitive LMS? can the instructor use it immediately or is training involved?
___ Are there simple and time saving edit functions and Help available in the system?

Tip #6. Get a user-friendly Vendor
___ Do you get a “Live” vendors who take the time to talk with you?
___ Does the Vendor have experience with organizations similar to yours?
___ Does the Vendor align with your strategies and commit to your long term business goals?
___ What is the Vendor’s history, vision, and current successes?
___ Is the Vendor a Stable company? Who are their current clients?
___ How successful have their clients been with implementation? What is the vendor’s overall reputation?
___ Can the vendor provide to you a list of customers currently using their LMS?

Tip #7. Get a Scalable LMS (an LMS thats expandable like your business)
___ Is it a Configurable LMS?
___ Can you customize the interface to reflect your companys color scheme, logo, branding, etc?
___ Can the LMS automatically generate certificates for end-users with the necessary information?

___ Is it a Customizable LMS?
___ Do you need an LMS with e-commerce automation and integration?
___ Is it a for-profit LMS or a not for profit LMS?
___ Do you need your LMS Integrated with other systems?

Tip #8. Get a Flexible LMS
___ Does the LMS offer online tracking, self-registration, and front-end authentication?

What is the LMS Authoring capability?
___ Can you store different types of media including: .doc, .swf, .html,etc.
___ Is it easy to import existing elearning content or elearning materials?

What is the LMS Reporting capability?
___ Can reports prove your LMS training is both effective and cost effective?
___ Can you get easy access to standard reports and export the reports to varied formats like Excel?

Tip #9. Get a well Supported LMS and Secure LMS that is Easy to Implement
___ Will the vendor get you thru implementation and successful launch of the LMS system, or is there additional costs involved?
___ What post implementation services are available?
___ What levels of ongoing support are included and what is the cost of those services?
___ Is it email (ticketing system) support, phone support, both or none?
___ Does the Vendor offer System Backups?
___ What about Upgrades? Online Help? What type of training if offered?
Is is a Reliable LMS?
___ Is Reliability and Stability and continuity of LMS service guaranteed?

Tip #10. All that and a bag of chips… Affordability
___ Is it a cost-effective LMS?
___ Is the cost of the LMS within your budget?
___ Is it an affordable LMS (remember to include annual tech support, upgrades, etc)?

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Cost Effective Elearning System is a Great Customer Service Tool

Do you need to create “A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service” in your organization? If so, put your employee training content into a cost effective Online Elearning System and put your customer feedback questions into an easy to use Online Survey System.

That is only one important message and call to action I got from reading the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. The subtitle to the book ” A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service”   is explained thru these 3 main ideas:

1. Decide What You Want Your Company To Be
Create a perfect “vision” of service centered on the customer. That perfect vision is your goal. Make it easy for customers to do business with you. For example, use websites and other technologies to help customers shop. Make the customer experience warm and pleasant by training staff to show attentiveness, warmth, and knowledge. Communicate your vision to the rest of the company and focus on constantly achieving your vision.

2. Discover What Your Customers Want
Customers only focus on a few needs. So you find and then focus on those needs. (when I was in the Fast Food industry we focused on HQSC - Hospitality, Quality, Service, and Cleanliness) Listen to what they say, and listen to what they don’t say. Start asking sincere questions, and win their confidence. (You may want to send out a customer survey.) Serve them, then ask their thoughts and opinions. Show them that they are important.

3. Deliver Consistently and Deliver Plus One
Consistency is the key. If you promise and deliver consistency in quality, timliness and results, you will win over customers and keep existing customers coming back to you. Improve your “vision” by 1% per week so you can master consistency in delivering new as well as existing commitments.

So how do you develop consistency?
A. Don’t commit to the mistake of offering too much service.  It’s better to find a small promise you can consistently deliver than a myriad of services you seldom can meet.
B.Put systems in place. Systems allow for a minimum level of consistency.
C. Support your systems with good training. Help your people deliver on what you promise to the customer by putting them thru cost effective training.  Systems are useless if you don’t put a training system to support it.
D. Finally, congragulate staff when they do well in exceeding customer expectations.

I’ll be back again next week with another summary of a best-selling business book and how it relates to the elearning industry. Do you have questions about Online Learning, Elearning Software, or even Printed Quizzes or CD-Rom Packages? If so, give me a toll free call at 866-696-8709 x922 or email me at frank@atrixware.com . I would be happy to offer you a free consultation or webinar.

  

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ELearning Terms and ELearning Acronyms (part 2)

Anyone who has something to say about elearning may find the below ( L thru Z ) collection of elearning terms and definitions helpful. (compiled by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson on behalf of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development)) 

Click here to view the ( A thru K ) definitions.

LAN (local-area network): A group of personal computers and/or other devices, such as printers or servers, that are located in a relatively limited area, such as an office, and can communicate and share information with each other.

LCMS (learning content management system): A software application (or set of applications) that manages the creation, storage, use, and reuse of learning content. LCMSs often store content in granular forms such as learning objects.

Learning: A cognitive and/or physical process in which a person assimilates information and temporarily or permanently acquires or improves skills, knowledge, behaviors, and/or attitudes.

Learning environment: The physical or virtual setting in which learning takes place.

Learning object: A reusable, media-independent collection of information used as a modular building block for e-learning content. Learning objects are most effective when organized by a meta data classification system and stored in a data repository such as an LCMS.

Learning objective: A statement establishing a measurable behavioral outcome, used as an advanced organizer to indicate how the learner’s acquisition of skills and knowledge is being measured.

Learning platforms: Internal or external sites often organized around tightly focused topics, which contain technologies (ranging from chat rooms to groupware) that enable users to submit and retrieve information.

Learning solution: 1) Any combination of technology and methodology that delivers learning. 2) Software and/or hardware products that suppliers tout as answers to businesses’ training needs.

LMS (learning management system): Software that automates the administration of training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalog, records data from learners; and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn’t include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources.

M-learning (mobile learning): Learning that takes place via such wireless devices as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop computers. Multimedia: Encompasses interactive text, images, sound, and color. Multimedia can be anything from a simple PowerPoint slide slow to a complex interactive simulation.

Online: The state in which a computer is connected to another computer or server via a network. A computer communicating with another computer.

Online learning: Learning delivered by Web-based or Internet-based technologies.

Online training: Web- or Internet-based training.

Scalability: The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume, or number of users served and continue to function properly.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): A set of specifications that, when applied to course content, produces small, reusable learning objects. A result of the Department of Defense’s Advance Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, SCORM-compliant courseware elements can be easily merged with other compliant elements to produce a highly modular repository of training materials.

Soft skills: Business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.

Synchronous learning: A real-time, instructor-led online learning event in which all participants are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other. In this virtual classroom setting, the instructor maintains control of the class, with the ability to “call on” participants. In most platforms, students and teachers can use a whiteboard to see work in progress and share knowledge. Interaction may also occur via audio- or videoconferencing, Internet telephony, or two-way live broadcasts.

TBT (technology-based training): The delivery of content via Internet, LAN or WAN (intranet or extranet), satellite broadcast, audio- or videotape, interactive TV, or CD-ROM. TBT encompasses both CBT and WBT.

Teaching: A process that aims to increase or improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a variety of goals. Teaching is often driven more toward the long-term personal growth of the learner and less toward business drivers such as job tasks that are often the focus of training. Some people characterize teaching as focused on theory and training as focused on practical application.

Training: A process that aims to improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a specific job task or goal. Training is often focused on business needs and driven by time-critical business skills and knowledge, and its goal is often to improve performance.

Tutorial: Step-by-step instructions presented through computer or Web-based technology, designed to teach a user how to complete a particular action.

WBT (Web-based training): Delivery of educational content via a Web browser over the public Internet, a private intranet, or an extranet. Web-based training often provides links to other learning resources such as references, email, bulletin boards, and discussion groups. WBT also may include a facilitator who can provide course guidelines, manage discussion boards, deliver lectures, and so forth. When used with a facilitator, WBT offers some advantages of instructor-led training while also retaining the advantages of computer-based training.

Webinar: (Web + seminar) A small synchronous online learning event in which a presenter and audience members communicate via text chat or audio about concepts often illustrated via online slides and/or an electronic whiteboard. Webinars are often archived as well for asynchronous, on-demand access.

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ELearning Terms and ELearning Acronyms (part 1)

Want to “speak” elearning language? Anyone who has something to say about elearning may find the below ( A thru K ) collection of elearning terms and definitions helpful. (compiled by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson on behalf of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development))

Click here to view the ( L thru Z ) definitions

Assessment: The process used to systematically evaluate a learner’s skill or knowledge level.

Assessment item: A question or measurable activity used to determine whether the learner has mastered a learning objective.

Authoring tool: A software application or program used by trainers and instructional designers to create e-learning courseware. Types of authoring tools include instructionally focused authoring tools, Web authoring and programming tools, template-focused authoring tools, knowledge capture systems, and text and file creation tools.

Blended learning: Learning events that combine aspects of online and face-to-face instruction.

Browser: A software application that displays World Wide Web pages originally written in the text-based HTML language in a user-friendly graphical format.

CAI (computer-assisted instruction): The use of a computer as a medium of instruction for tutorial, drill and practice, simulation, or games. CAI is used for both initial and remedial training, and typically does not require that a computer be connected to a network or provide links to learning resources outside of the course.

CBL (computer-based learning): See CBT.

CBT (computer-based training): An umbrella term for the use of computers in both instruction and management of the teaching and learning process. CAI (computer-assisted instruction) and CMI (computer-managed instruction) are included under the heading of CBT. Some people use the terms CBT and CAI interchangeably.

CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory or compact disc read-only media): A computer storage medium similar to the audio CD that can hold more than 600 megabytes of read-only digital information.

Certification: 1) The awarding of a credential acknowledging that an individual has demonstrated proof of a minimum level of knowledge or competence, as defined by a professional standards organization. Professional certification can be used as a screening tool and verification of an individual’s skills and knowledge. 2) Program that evaluates products or tools according to predetermined criteria

Classroom training: See Instructor-Led Training.

C-learning: See Instructor-Led Training.

CMI (computer-managed instruction): The use of computer technology to oversee the learning process, including testing and record keeping.

CMS (content management system): A centralized software application or set of applications that facilitates and streamlines the process of designing, testing, approving, and posting e-learning content, usually on Webpages.

CoD (Content on demand): Delivery of an offering, packaged in a media format, anywhere, anytime via a network. Variants include audio on demand (AoD) and video on demand (VoD).

Content: Information captured digitally and imparted to learners. Formats for e-learning content include text, audio, video, animation, simulation, and more.

Courseware: Any type of instructional or educational course delivered via a software program or over the Internet.

Customer-focused e-learning: Technology-based learning programs offered by a company and targeted at their current and prospective customers. The intent is to increase brand loyalty among existing customers and attract new business

Default: A setting that the computer system uses automatically, unless it is changed by the user.

Delivery: Any method of transferring content to learners, including instructor-led training, Web-based training, CD-ROM, books, and more.

Disc/Disk: Floppy Disk or CD-ROM.

Disk drive: The part of a computer that reads and writes data onto either a floppy disk, a hard disk, or an optical disk (CD, CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM, WORM, and so forth).

Distance education: Educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. Education or training courses are delivered to remote locations via Syncronous or Asyncronous means of instruction, including written correspondence, text, graphics, audio- and videotape, CD-ROM, online learning, audio- and videoconferencing, interactive TV, and FAX. Distance education does not preclude the use of the traditional classroom. The definition of distance education is broader than and entails the definition of e-learning.

Distance learning: The desired outcome of distance education. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

Download: (noun) A file that’s transferred or copied to a user’s computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet. (verb) To transfer or copy a file to a user’s computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet.

E-learning (electronic learning): Term covering a wide set of applications and processes, such as Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, CD-ROM, and more.

End user: The person for whom a particular technology is designed; the individual who uses the technology for its designated purpose. In e-learning, the end user is usually the student.

E-training: See TBT.

ILS (integrated learning system): A complete software, hardware, and network system used for instruction. In addition to providing curriculum and lessons organized by level, an ILS usually includes a number of tools such as assessments, record keeping, report writing, and user information files that help to identify learning needs, monitor progress, and maintain student records.

ILT (instructor-led training): Usually refers to traditional classroom training, in which an instructor teaches a course to a room of learners. The term is used synonymously with on-site training and classroom training (c-learning).

Internet-based training: Training delivered primarily by TCP/IP network technologies such as email, newsgroups, proprietary applications, and so forth. Although the term is often used synonymously with Web-based training, Internet-based training is not necessarily delivered over the World Wide Web, and may not use the HTTP and HTML technologies that make Web-based training possible.

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Implement Corporate Elearning Systems Rapidly, Securely & Affordably

Here is a “Success Story” we recently distributed as a Press Release and Newsletter Article that I though you would find interesting, especially if you are in a Corporate Enviromnent considering an Online Elearning Solution:

Atrixware recently teamed with PixelPoint, one of the world leaders in Point of Sale (POS) software for the Hospitality Industry.Based out of Toronto Canada, PixelPoint is a Division of Par Technology.

They worked with Atrixware who provided an online customizable eLearning platform to train and certify their worldwide dealer network of hospitality establishments that use their POS retail order systems.”Implementing online testing is not for the naive. Companies must rely on the integrity of their test results to make it worth providing in the first place. Atrixware understands this and provides the tools necessary to achieve an outstanding result that is easy to implement.” Mr. Scott Dunlop Manager, Training & Education PAR PixelPoint.”When PixelPoint approached us about deploying a global eLearning solution to their regional offices and dealer network, their critical need was to protect the integrity of their certification process. We were confident about our ability to meet their expectations. What we are most gratified by is that we could help contribute to the continuing success of such a great company .” Mr. Frank Dunleavy, Director of Sales Atrixware, LLC.

Now worldwide dealers and regional service offices can attain certification as a PixelPoint Certified Professional through their Atrixware Online WEBLEARNING Account, a secure online eLearning and testing system.

Since its implementation, PixelPoint has tested over 400 installers spanning every continent. They now have total administrative control and automated reporting that has made their entire training and certification process secure, fast and easy to manage. Before choosing Atrixware, one important challenge PixelPoint faced was to provide up-to-date training and certification resources that would be available anywhere in the world at any time. Between manuals, the internet and computer-based training, they were able to provide training resources to their dealers worldwide. Unfortunately, qualifying their skills for certification was another matter. The goals they set for solving their certification problem were:

   1. To provide a testing system available anywhere & at any time in the world
   2. To provide secure access to protect the integrity of the certification process
   3. To have regimented administrative control of participant’s use of the system
   4. To receive automated reporting of results upon certification testing

PixelPoint investigated numerous Internet systems capable of providing access anytime/anywhere, but their capabilities were lacking in five critical areas important to them. After research and evaluation, they selected Atrixware, LLC located in Blackwood, NJ.

Why? Because Atrixware offered a number of differences to their competition. Most importantly:

   1. The ability to provide security levels of participant access
   2. E-ommerce capability to charge for their certifications
   3. Regimented control of their participants use including:
        a. Offer test questions one at a time rather than in a continuous sheet format
        b. being able to time out tests
        c. after taking a test once, end-users could not retest without administrator approval
   4. Automated reporting of test/certification results
   5. Affordably priced & easy to deploy

Atrixware clearly came through the hands down winner in all these key areas we wanted,” according to Scott Dunlop Manager, Training & Education for PixelPoint, who led the sourcing process for evaluating an online eLearning solution for the company.

Atrixware WEBLEARNING is an ideal Online Learning Management System for any corporate training professionals who need to train, certify or license employees, VARs, or installers.

Moreover, you can be up and running in about an hour, it is that easy!
It is affordable and available on a monthly or annual subscription basis, or optionally can be set-up on your own internal servers, if you choose and eliminate monthly fees. Whether it is content creation, assessment, testing, surveys or delivery, Atrixware has a solution that is affordable to help you do your job easier and more productively.

For an online corporate eLearning solution, a service like the Atrixware WEBLEARNING System is ideal, especially for the “non-technical” instructor or trainer. You can even include all sorts of file exhibits, including images, sounds, office documents, flash videos, presentations, and more. In addition, you can include hyperlinks in your questions that point to files or documents that reside anywhere on the Internet or your Intranet. It’s easy to start creating & using eLearning to increase productivity, automate test preparation & reporting while improving your participant’s test results and boosting achievement. The only requirements are: a local server (Intranet) and a browser or a Web based Internet connection & a Web browser.

To get started deploying your own online corporate training solution, contact Atrixware.

Call toll free 866-696-8709 or visit on the Web where you can sign up for a FREE 7-day trial WEBLEARNING account.

Thanks Scott Dunlop for sharing your time and experience! 

If you are an Atrixware customer and you are interested in participating in an “application story” like the one above, please email me at frank@atrixware.com.

If you are NOT YET an Atrixware customer, but you would like a free consultation, please email me at frank@atrixware.com. I look forward to talking with you!

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Why is customer satisfaction worthless?

At least once a month I will be reviewing a business related book and how it may be applied to the E-Learning industry. (with specific applications to the Education, Corporate, Government, or Entrepeneur segments)

This month, author Jefferey Gitomer answers the above question in his book “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless.” In a nutshell, his answer is that satisfied customers will shop anywhere! Loyal customers will encourage others to buy from you and FIGHT before they switch!  To put things in perspective, Gitomer asks,
“Would you rather your spouse be just SATISFIED or would you perfer LOYAL?”

What is a loyal customer?
One who insists on dealing with you because you meet or exceed their needs. You give great delivery, great service and a memorable experience every time. They will proactively talk about and refer people to you. In a word – you WOW them.

What do customers want?
The bottom line is that they only want 2 things. They want to know you CARE about them personally, and they want to know you can HELP them, now.

How should we treat customers?
We should create frequent, lasting, memorable impressions -
treating every customer as though they were our favorite celebrity, hero, friend, neighbor, or grandma.
(that reminds me…)

Are you using the ”Grandma” Self-Test?
Why?   To determine if “what you say” to the customer will be acceptable or irritable.
How?   Put “grandma” at the end of everything you say. If it sounds like something you would say to your grandma, use it, if not, don’t.
Want Examples? Sorry we’re closed, grandma. It’s our policy, grandma. What is this in reference to, grandma? (got the picture?)

Is the customer always right? (and does that make us always wrong?)
It’s not about right or wrong. It’s how you react to and handle the problem. Let’s face it, people don’t stop doing business. But they can stop doing business with you, which means YOU’RE FIRED! by the real boss – your customer.

Why would the customer not return?
Because you are : not showing personal or genuine interest, responding poorly, unavailable, unfriendly, rude, over-promising, inadequately capable of handling the customer’s problem, too pushy, poorly presented (image), giving dumb excuses, nickel and dime-ing, a part of poor: product quality-service delivery-or training.

So, what are you doing to build loyalty and ensure repeat purchases?
In the book there are lots of ”Principles of Customer Service Success.” Here are just a few:

1. Your customer is your paycheck
2. Your attitude determines the degree of excellence of service you perform
3. Customers call, contact, or visit for one reason – they need help!
4. The value of a customer is 20 times his/her annual salary
5. Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your success
6. The customer’s perception of good or bad service is the measure of your success or failure
      (in the end, the customer perception is all that matters)

Once you realize that “satisfaction” is the lowest level of acceptable service, then you understand the power of “loyalty.”
The only way to measure loyalty is… unsolicited referrals and re-orders.

Do you have a Customer Service Training Program?
Get the message out to your employees about how to treat your customers.  There’s a ton of valuable information in this book. Use it. Teach it. Create a course and test your employees on it. Use this content (or your own) to deliver it:
     Online - using a LMS (learning management system)
     On a LAN (Local Area Network)
     On Paper
     On CD-Rom

Need more information?

To find out more information about Jeffery Gitomer, this book, and his other products, go to http://www.gitomer.com/

To find out more about putting your course content into an e-learning solution so you can distribute it to your employees, customers, or students, call or email me. I would be happy to offer you a free consultation.
(1-866-696-8709 x922 frank@atrixware.com)

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How to Create a Successful E-Learning Presentation

“How to Speak so People Will Listen” was the presentation given at a recent ASTD (American Society for Trainng and Development) meeting in Philadelphia. PA. Dilip Abayaserkara, Ph.D., A.S. from Speaker Services Unlimited was the presenter. I was among the over 50 people priveleged to attended. Dilip is a renowned Speech Coach, accredited speaker, and Toasmasters’ Past International President.  Although most of his information was geared toward “live” presentations, there were also some other ideas that transfer easily into the Online E-Learning Presentation and Distance Learning Presentation style as well.

Here are a few “tips” for you to consider when you create your next presentation:

1. Reduce encoding errors (the message you send)  Example: Don’t say “you look ugly in that dress” if you mean “that dress does not compliment your beauty”

2. Make it easy for the audience to decode (understand/apply your message) Use short words & sentences. Use rhyme, rhythm & cadence. Use images & examples the audience can relate to. Example: Don’t say “Pulchritude extends merely to the epidermal layer” if you mean “beauty is only skin deep”

3. Reduce interference as much as possible. The communication channel (face to face, phone, email, online, etc) determines what the interference is  and what you can do about it.          Example: Online Presenters can integrate more interactive features: read, view, listen, click, write etc.  instead of requiring your audience to just listen to a “boring” lecture or read “dry” content. Create interest and participation not distraction and apathy.

4. Be “First Brain Friendly”  Be What? The first brain is the most primitive part of the brain which directly receives all the sensory inputs and is the gatekeeper (filter) for the rest of the brain (logical thinking and creative part). The first brain seeks (senses) safety and trust before allowing any words, numbers or language in (which is your message/content).  Example: Smile, use open and accepting gestures, be sincere and credible and confident and caring and enthusiastic. (Like an adult is in front of a baby. Let them know it is safe and secure to be with you and learn from you) I think that is why so many successful presenters start with a joke, an icebreaker, or an interesting story to ease the initial “tension” and then the audience is receptive to what they have to say.

5. Give the audience what they want, not what you want. Why?  When you go fishing, is the bait food that you like, or that the fish likes? Example: The audience wants: understanding, relevance, significance, value, inspiration, entertainment, etc.

6. Communicate Clearly. Begin with one sentence or phrase with your crystallized purpose. Then introduce appropriate content, words, examples. Associate new information with old information, keep it simple. Example: How about Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech.

7. Be Organized. If possible, every presentation should have: an introduction, a body and a conclusion with a smooth transition/flow.  One theme with main points and supporting data, an appeal to the mind (factual) and heart (emotional), If you would like to learn more about Dilip Abayasekara, his company Speaker Services Unlimited, or his presentation, “How to Speak so People Will Listen” send me an email at frank@atrixware.com and I will forward you his contact information.

If you would like to learn more about ASTD, click here www.ASTD.org.

If you want to learn more about Online E-Learning and/or Distance Learning Solutions, visit our website www.atrixware.com, give me a call 856-831-7772, or send me an email at frank@atrixware.com.

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Use Weblearning 9 to Create an Online Business, or add to your Existing Business

Ed CormierThat’s what Ed Cormier is doing. Ed is the founder and President of IEI (International Education Institute, LLC) which is his 5th corporate startup company. Ed has a background in Marketing, Management, PR, Sales, and Advertising. He is also a Certified E-Learning Designer. Ed is in the process of creating “demo” courses and developing “License Exam Prep” courses for several “niche” industries.

Ed and I first met via a phone conversation in early 2007. Through the months, we had several conversations, and he even began using our Weblearning 8 Online LMS System. He told me his work schedule is 24/7, so I was happy but surprised to hear he was going to visit us.

During his visit in January of 2008, he told me again (in person) that he works 24/7, but this time he clarified that it’s “24 hours a week, and 7 months out of the year.”

Besides getting to know Ed’s humerous side, he also revealed some very creative and cutting-edge e-learning ideas. Then he shared with me a few “surprises” (and I promised I would not tell) that he will be integrating into his courses that will make learning for his end-users more fun and interactive than anything available now!

Ed is creating content for several end-user markets including: students, customers, and employees. I had a chance to demonstrate for him the new Weblearning 9 System which proved to be flexible and scalable enough to accommodate all his ideas, plans and markets.

Ed’s next stop on his busy schedule was to visit some of his family in Pennsylvania. But before he left he told me about some of his “other” projects. When Ed is not starting up a new business, he is either teaching “in class” and “online” at Southern Connecticut State University, or he’s working on his PHD dissertation in Educational Leadership. WOW – How does he do all that in his 24/7 schedule?

Our goal at Atrixware is to help make Ed’s dreams, ideas, and plans, a reality. With Ed’s knowledge and content, and Atrixware’s technology background and e-learning systems, we know we can make it happen for Ed. And, we can also make it happen for you.

What are your business dreams, ideas, and plans? Call me at 866-696-8709 x922 or email me at frank@atrixware.com and let me know. Maybe I can help.

Are you planning a visit to the Philadelphia/Southern NJ area? Come and see us. I would be happy to introduce you to our staff, show you what’s new and maybe I’ll even buy you lunch! (the Philadelphia Cheesesteaks are awesome).

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Anyone into Personal Development?

Since I can remember, I have been interested in the subject of personal development. For me, this issue covers lots of subjects like: Time Management, Money Management, Leadership, Habits, Sales, Motivation, etc.

Lately, I’ve been reading and listening to a little Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, and Rich Dad stuff. I’m interested to know what kind of stuff do you read and/or listen to. Do you invest in similar books, audio, and seminars? Is there quote or “words of wisdom” that you live by or that changed your life for the better? I know that you are probably a successful teacher, trainer, or entrepeneur. What is the secret to your success?

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Considering going from Paper based to Computer based TESTS?

Most of the customers and prospects I talk to on a daily basis want to take the leap from a “pre-historic” paper-based testing system to computer based testing, but either don’t know how or expect to be SHOCKED with too much cost or technology.

Does that describe you?

If so, you probably currently have all your tests and questions in Microsoft Word and you either print the same test over and over again (while students memorize the answers and sell to the next class or next year’s class) or you spend a lot of time “cutting and pasting” new questions, editing questions, or moving same questions around in a different order. Oh, and don’t forget to change the answer key’s too. Want to prevent cheating and save time?

Take just ONE STEP forward and save hours of “test making” time and effort. With Test Pro Developer Academic Edition, you can enter your questions into a central database, and separate each question by category. Then you can print a different test each year or each class, or for each student.

For example, you may have entered 20 questions each for Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of a particular subject. If you want to give a 10 question quiz, just tell the database to select 10 RANDOM questions from Chapter 1. Each time you do, you will get a different test with it’s own answer key. You can also select the same 10 questions but print them in a SHUFFLED question order. If you have 4 rows of students, print 4 tests- No more student cheating!

Adding and editing questions to the database is easy. Maybe next year you will have 30 questions per chapter which means even more randomization when you print. Also, you can print tests from MULTIPLE CATEGORIES. Just tell the database to select 5 questions each, from chapters 1 thru 10. Each time you do, you can get a different 50 question mid-term, final, or multi-category test.

Take JUST ONE MORE STEP and instead of “publishing” your questions to print, publish them to an HTML file. Then you can email the test to your students as a file attachment. (this is great for practice and/or take home tests) When the students get their email and open the attachment, they can take the test (as many times as they want) and when they click “submit” the test will automatically be graded and give the student a report (including explanations and refrences if you provide it) It’s like magic! (but it’s really just a lot of computer stuff happening in the background) There is even an option for YOU to get an email back from each student and then merge all the emails into ONE excel document, which saves hours of “test grading” time and effort.

Now you have a system that does BOTH paper and computer based testing. Plus, you can prevent cheating, save lots of time, and build a library of questions and tests all in one place. Its easy with Test Pro Developer – Academic Editon. Try it for free and let me know what you think!

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A Better, Easier & Less Expensive Learning Management System
Try the Atrixware Axis LMS